Now that we're more reliant on package delivery than ever, it's a good time to install an outdoor security camera. In addition to a live video feed, you'll get alerts when there are package deliveries, unexpected activity and potentially even criminals at work. (Porch pirates are still on the prowl, alas.)
Here's a particularly affordable option: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Amazon has the Ring Video Doorbell for $79.99 with a free Echo Dot smart speaker. The doorbell alone usually sells for $99.99. Take note that the two available colors, satin nickel and Venetian bronze, show in-stock dates of July 2 and July 8, respectively. But you can still place your order today.
Like all good doorbells, the Ring offers live video feeds, motion alerts, two-way voice communication and a rechargeable battery pack. It can also be hardwired. If you don't already have an indoor bell, the Ring Chime (a $30 add-on) is a great accessory, as it lets you actually hear the doorbell when it's pressed, rather than just relying on your phone or tablet to notify you.
Read more: How to install the Ring Video Doorbell 2
Before you buy one of these, you may want to investigate the various security and privacy issues that have cropped up in recent years. Good news on that front: Ring's latest security features make its video doorbells easier to recommend. I'm not going to weigh in on all that, other than to say I have no personal qualms about using the product.
Read more: Best home security systems of 2020
CNET hasn't reviewed this version of the Ring, but you can get a good overview from the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus review. Important to note: After the 30-day cloud-storage trial is over, the Ring stops recording video -- kind of the whole point of having the thing -- unless you pay for a subscription. That costs $3 per month or $30 annually (a pretty reasonable rate, I think) or $10 per month ($100 annually) for the Protect Plus option. My two cents on the latter: Skip it. It offers little added value.
Originally published last year. Updated to reflect a different version of the Ring and the Echo Dot bundle.